The ‘Unapologetic’ Spoken Word Artist

by Kayla Murphy

On Tuesday Jan. 24, at 8 p.m. in Devil’s Den, Central Activities Network (CAN) hosted part one of a four part poetry series program. Over a hundred people attended to hear poet Ashley Haze perform.

“I thought her performance was very powerful,” said freshman elementary education student, Lyndsy Ignacio.

“She touched on very important topics and I thought she did a good job connecting with the audience,” said Ignacio.

“I was ten years old when I picked up a pen and a piece of paper,” said spoken word artist Ashley Haze.

“Every day after school I would write for an hour,” Haze said.

Haze had said that writing and performing poetry was her dream, but she realized that she would need a steady job first and then she could focus on her career.

Laughing, she said, “I work nine to five, and then from five to nineĀ I work on my dream. It’s a good balance and practice to have.”

Haze’s pieces focused on many different aspects of life such as feminism, celebrities, Saturday mornings and cultural enlightenment of African Americans. Haze said that a lot of inspiration for her poems comes from current events and movies such as, “The Help” and “Alligator Bait.”

“I really liked her poem about body image,” said freshman nursing student Sarah Allen.

“Haze made good points about when people say she has a ‘pretty face’ but implying that her body isn’t. I like how she empowered feminism and talked about being beautiful inside and out,” Allen said.

In one of her poems, Haze responds to the idea of feminism with, “I can be eye candy and soul food because I can multitask.”

Damar Britto, a junior technology and engineering education major, said his favorite poem by Haze was “Saturday Mornings.”

“I could relate to her piece about immigration and housework because my great grandmother was a housemaid as well,” Britto said.

In her poem, Haze mentions about how she would clean spotless with her mother on Saturday mornings and how her grandmother was a hotel maid in Chicago.

Haze said she was taught that “cleanliness was close to godliness.”

For the next few months, students can join C.A.N in the rest of the poetry series. The next performer is Gabriel Ramirez: On What it Means to be Black, on February 1st at 8 p.m. in Alumni Hall.

On Feb. 13, at 8 p.m in Alumni Hall, “Kyla Lacey: On Her Experience of Domestic Violence and Abuse” is the third part of the series. The final performer is “Ebony Stewart: Selfless Spoken Word Artist,” on Mar. 21 at 8 p.m. in Alumni Hall.